By Lee Williams
Gun owners have never had a level playing field on Twitter or any other social media platform. It seemed like someone was looking over your shoulder – and someone always was.
Anyone who has posted support for the Second Amendment on Twitter for any length of time — I’ve had an account since 2013 — has more than a few horror stories about how they were mistreated by the platform’s “community standards” apparatchiks.
If a Twitter hall monitor determined a tweet violated their nebulous Twitter Rules, punishments could range from a warning label, which cautions readers the tweet contained disputed or misleading information, to limiting the tweet’s visibility, to limiting engagements such as likes, retweets and replies, to temporary or permanent suspensions of the offending account.
To be clear, these were just the public punishments — punishments users were told about. The secret punishments were much more troublesome, such as shadow-banning conservative voices and deleting their followers without notice. I hope Elon Musk makes public the nefarious algorithms and biased practices that have punished and bedeviled conservative Twitter users since the site began.
Why put up with Twitter’s obvious anti-conservative bias? Because, as Musk himself just tweeted, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”
🚀💫♥️ Yesss!!! ♥️💫🚀 pic.twitter.com/0T9HzUHuh6
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
In other words, if you value your message, Twitter is a good vehicle to get your message heard.
Info is ammo
If I had a dollar for every time someone said we need a conservative-friendly platform similar to Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, I’d have enough to buy a really good case of bourbon. It’s certainly not easy to create a new social media platform, as we have seen with President Donald Trump’s new site, Truth Social, and the growing pains it has experienced. There are thousands of folks still waiting for access in Truth Social’s online queue, and those who have made it onto the platform complain there is limited engagement – in other words, there’s no one to talk to.
Oh are we not doing build your own platform anymore https://t.co/acOlZf1TXc
— Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) April 25, 2022
The one thing Twitter and Facebook have now, which a new site will always struggle to achieve, is that they are platforms in common usage. They’re not unlike an AR-15 — everybody’s got one.
Twitter definitely has its share of problems, which we hope Musk will fix, but nearly everyone has the app on their phone or laptop. Common usage is extremely important, especially now, because we need the numbers.
— Larry Keane (@lkeane) April 21, 2022
The Biden-Harris administration’s war on our guns uses secrecy as a weapon…private White House meetings held in backrooms without transcripts or public notice, where unelected officials plot how to infringe upon our Second Amendment rights. Only by publicly exposing these secret gatherings can they be stopped.
Information has become ammunition in Joe Biden’s war on our guns. This is why the gun-banners and the rest of the left are so violently and vehemently opposed to Musk’s purchase. They have relied upon Twitter’s censorship of conservative thoughts and ideas for years. Now, once the censorship is removed as Musk has promised to do, they can’t fathom a society where speech is actually free and not something they can rigidly control.
Why is The Left so afraid of Free Speech?https://t.co/cxQkkVmDIG
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) April 26, 2022
Twitter has long been the province of mainstream journalists. Many — especially the blue checkmarks at CNN — use it as a reporting tool. The legacy media’s stranglehold on free speech is now ending too, thanks to Mr. Musk, and they’re pushing back hard, especially on liberal networks like CNN, NBC and MSLSD.
If the Lemons, Maddows and Reids of the world are united in opposition to anything, it must be a boon for those of us who value personal freedoms and individual liberties such as free speech, right?
For now, at least until Musk proves me wrong, I will continue to rely upon Twitter as an information source and to post my stories. You can find them here.
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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.